Published November 11 2011
Updated June 30 2018
Natural thyroid treatment methods have helped many people with both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism restore their health back to normal. However, it’s important to understand that restoring your health isn’t an easy process, as this does involve taking responsibility for your own health. So anyone with a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition who is looking for a quick and easy cure probably will want to refrain from following a natural treatment protocol, and will want to consider other options.
I personally was diagnosed with the autoimmune thyroid condition Graves’ disease and restored my health back to normal by following a natural thyroid treatment protocol. And since then I have consulted with many people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, as well as hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, and I have seen many of these people restore their health back to normal. What I mean by “restoring their health back to normal” is that after following such a protocol their symptoms subsided and their labs normalized. This not only includes the thyroid panel, but thyroid autoantibodies, along with imbalances found on other tests (i.e. adrenal saliva testing).
What Does A Natural Thyroid Treatment Approach Consists Of?
There are a few different components of any successful natural thyroid treatment protocol:
Component #1: Eat mostly whole foods and minimize the refined foods and sugars from your diet. For anyone with a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition, it is extremely important to eat well. Some people want to know what the ideal “thyroid diet” is, but it all comes down to using common sense, and trying your best to minimize the refined foods and sugars from your diet, while eating mostly whole foods. There are some articles on my website which go into some specifics about diet. You also want to drink plenty of purified water, and there are also articles on my website which discuss the different types of water.
When first beginning a natural treatment protocol it also is a good idea to avoid the common allergens, such as gluten, dairy, corn, and soy. With regards to gluten, most people should at least consider going on a gluten free trial for 30 days, and arguably longer than this. In fact, some healthcare professionals will recommend that anyone with Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s should avoid gluten on a permanent basis, even after they achieve a state of remission. That being said, some people choose to reintroduce gluten, dairy, and other foods that are commonly excluded while taking a natural treatment approach.
Component #2: Improve your stress handling skills. Stress is one of the biggest factors which can trigger a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, prolonged chronic stress over time will weaken the adrenal glands. Weak adrenals can cause problems with immunity, digestion, and can affect other systems of the body. Second, chronic stress will also directly compromise the immune system.
Chronic stress can cause a decrease in secretory IgA, which lines the gastrointestinal tract. A decrease in secretory IgA can make someone more likely to develop a condition such as a leaky gut, which can be a factor with many autoimmune conditions, including Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. While you can’t eliminate the stress from your life, you probably can do a better job of managing it. Most people can benefit from stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or biofeedback.
Component #3: Modify other lifestyle factors. In addition to eating well and managing your stress, you need to modify other lifestyle factors as well. With regards to sleep, you should get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you are currently having problems falling and/or staying asleep, then of course it is important to find out the cause of the problem.
High cortisol levels at night are a common cause of sleeping difficulties, although there can be other factors as well, including blood sugar issues and neurotransmitter imbalances. Another important lifestyle factor is exercise. However, some people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions don’t have the energy to exercise. And even if you have the energy to exercise you need to be cautious. This is especially true in those with hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease.
Component #4: Minimize your exposure to environmental toxins. There are thousands of environmental toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis, and so it is impossible to minimize your exposure to them. However, many of the toxins people are exposed to are a result of the foods and products they bring into their own home. So buying food that is organic and using products and cosmetics that are natural will help greatly in this area. Sure, it does cost more money to do this, but over the long run it will be well worth it.
If you can’t afford to purchase everything organic, then you need to prioritize. For example, if you eat meat then I definitely would recommend buying organic meat to avoid the hormones, antibiotics, as well as the genetically modified corn fed to many animals. It also is a good idea to buy organic fruits and vegetables to avoid the pesticides and herbicides. If you visit the website of the Environmental Working Group you can check out their Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists and see which fruits and vegetables have the highest amount of pesticides. With regards to cleaning products, at the very least make sure any sprays or creams you use are organic, as you don’t want to inhale anything with chemicals, and some creams include synthetic hormones. The Environmental Working Group also has a cosmetics database called “Skin Deep” where you can perform a search for safer products.
Component #5: Correct any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Eating a nutrient dense diet will help to correct any nutritional deficiencies you may have. However, eating well alone is usually not enough to correct some of the more moderate and severe deficiencies people have, which is why most people do need to take multiple nutritional supplements while trying to restore their health back to normal. Just as is the case with buying organic food and using natural products, it is of course also important to take high quality nutritional supplements for maximum benefits.
Also, remember that more supplements isn’t necessarily better, as while most people do require numerous supplements, I’ve come across many people who were taking an excessive amount of supplements. Also keep in mind that the goal isn’t to take these supplements on a permanent basis, as after someone restores their health back to normal they might need to take a few basic supplements, but while maintaining your health you want to obtain most of the nutrients through the food you eat. So you do need to be careful not to take too many supplements.
Component #6: Correct any hormone imbalances. In addition to the imbalance of thyroid hormone, many people will have other hormone imbalances as well. I briefly spoke about the adrenal glands before, as many people have imbalances in the cortisol levels that need to be addressed. In addition, imbalances of the sex hormones are also common. Many people have imbalances of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, all of which can cause or contribute to a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition. I have a written a few articles on this, including “Estrogen Dominance and Natural Treatment Solutions“, and “Can Estrogen and Prolactin Be The Main Triggers of Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?”
Component #7: Look at BOTH symptoms and tests. Even though one can’t rely on symptoms alone, it still is important to see an improvement of the symptoms. After all, one of the main goals for the person following the natural thyroid treatment protocol is to feel better. With that being said, one also needs to order the appropriate tests. Of course the thyroid blood tests are important to look at, and so anyone with a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition will want to look at the TSH, Free T3 and T4, thyroid antibodies, and perhaps other tests such as the reverse T3. Other blood tests might also be necessary, such as tests for Vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, ferritin, hs-CRP, etc. Just remember that blood tests don’t tell the entire story, which is why other tests might be necessary, such saliva testing for the adrenals and sex hormones, testing for mineral imbalances, an intestinal permeability test, etc.
These seven components are essential for anyone looking to restore their health while following a natural treatment protocol. However, there can be other factors I didn’t mention which are important to look at, such as infections. I discussed this more in an article I wrote entitled “The Role of Pathogens In The Development of Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis“.
What Should You Specifically Do For Your Thyroid Or Autoimmune Thyroid Condition?
Whether you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease, you might be wondering what you specifically need to do for your condition. Well, of course you do need to pay attention to the factors I described above. But with regards to which tests you should receive, what supplements you need to take, and which foods you should specifically eat and avoid, this does vary with each person. This is why it is recommended for people with these conditions to consult with a natural healthcare professional who focuses on thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions. While it might be tempting to self-treat your condition, if you’re looking for optimal results, then it really does make sense to consult with an expert.
That being said, over the next few weeks I will provide some valuable information to help you improve your health. You an also find plenty of information by visiting the articles page of my website. I would also highly recommend to watch one of my free webinars on thyroid health. Click here for more information on the hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease webinars I offer, and click here for more information on the hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s webinars. Just so there are no surprises, at the end of the webinars I discuss my services, but even if you’re not interested in working with me I’m confident that you will find the information to be valuable.